It appears that The Last Dance backlash has arrived. ESPN aired the final episode of the wildly popular Michael Jordan documentary on Sunday but one of the NBA superstar's former teammates has already taken issue with the show.
Horace Grant, who won three titles alongside Jordan with the Chicago Bulls, said the documentary was edited to make Jordan look better. Some critics have pointed out that the fact that The Last Dance was co-produced by one of Jordan's companies was glossed over.
"I would say [the documentary was] entertaining, but we know, who was there as teammates, that about 90% of it [was] BS in terms of the realness of it," Grant said in an interview on ESPN 1000's Kap and Co radio show on Tuesday. "It wasn't real - because a lot of things [Jordan] said to some of his teammates, that his teammates went back at him. But all of that was kind of edited out of the documentary, if you want to call it a documentary."
Jordan is depicted as a man ruthlessly devoted to winning in The Last Dance, even if it comes at the expense of his personal popularity. Grant, who was with the Bulls for seven years, said Jordan sometimes went too far.
"He felt that he could dominate me, but that was sadly mistaken," Grant said. "Because whenever he went at me, I went at him right back. But in terms of Will Perdue, Steve Kerr and the young man, Scott Burrell, that was heartbreaking [to watch]. To see a guy, a leader, to go at those guys like that. I understand in terms of practicing, you have a push and shove here and there, but outright punching [teammates] and things of that nature. And calling them the B's and the H's, that wasn't called for."
In The Last Dance, Jordan says he believes Grant, with whom he won three NBA titles at the Chicago Bulls, had been an inside source for The Jordan Rules, a book that sometimes painted the Hall of Famer in an unflattering light.
"Lie, lie, lie. ... If MJ had a grudge with me, let's settle this like men," Grant said on Tuesday. "Let's talk about it. Or we can settle it another way. But yet and still, he goes out and puts this lie out that I was the source behind [The Jordan Rules]. Sam Smith [the author of the book] and I have always been great friends. We're still great friends. But the sanctity of that locker room, I would never put anything personal out there. The mere fact that Sam Smith was an investigative reporter. That he had to have two sources, two, to write a book, I guess. Why would MJ just point me out?
"It's only a grudge, man. I'm telling you, it was only a grudge. And I think he proved that during this so-called documentary. When if you say something about him, he's going to cut you off, he's going to try to destroy your character."
Scottie Pippen, who was the second-best player on Jordan's great Bulls teams, is also said to have been unhappy with his portrayal in The Last Dance. Jordan called Pippen "selfish" in an early episode.
"I have never seen a quote unquote number two guy, as decorated as Scottie Pippen, portrayed so badly," Grant said.
Grant said he had last communicated with Jordan three years ago when they texted each other about golf. He ended the interview by addressing the role of Jordan's company in the making of the documentary.
"When that so-called documentary is about one person, basically, and he has the last word on what's going to be put out there ... it's not a documentary," Grant said. "It's his narrative of what happens in the last, quote-unquote dance. That's not a documentary because a whole bunch of things was cut out, edited out. So that's why I call it a so-called documentary."